[The Magicians] Fem Bot Nick Fury

ObiFettObiFett Use the ForceAs You WishRegistered User regular
edited April 2017 in Debate and/or Discourse
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The Magicians is a show on SyFy based on books with the same title. The adaptation isn't completely the same, but I don't know much about that because I never read the books. Its basically a story where someone took all the stuff from things like Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia and twisted them to be how they would really be in our world. Like in order to get the power of a God, its a bit more grounded than It just waving Its hand at you. Magic doesn't solve all problems, but rather it exists in a world of similar but different problems. Also, something as powerful as magic is as addicting and ruining as all things that are powerful.

The story starts with our characters finding out that magic is real and there is a school (Brakebills) that you can attend to learn to be a magician! Then the story remembers that its not Harry Potter and our protagonists do not have plot armor. Stuff happens to our great and terrible characters:

Quentin Coldwater (terrible: whiny and annoying)
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SyFy wrote:
Quentin has always been on the outside looking in. He's awkward, unsure, overthinks everything, He's the sort of guy always pining from afar (especially for his childhood best friend, Julia). It's no wonder the world of magic – especially in his favorite book series, Fillory and Further – has been such an escape. But, as Quentin discovers upon entering Brakebills University, magic is more than the card tricks he's learned over the years. It's very real and he can wield it. For the first time in Quentin's life, the future doesn't look so bleak.
Basically the Harry Potter of the series. If Harry Potter didn't have super special parents or a prophecy about him and was just obsessed with magic due to a series of books about a magical place called Fillory. The Fillory books are almost exactly like the Chronicles of Narnia. He is so obsessed about this place and magic that he can't connect with the real world. As a result he's super whiny and sad all the time. Surely he'll be happy when he discovers that magic is real and Fillory exists!

Julia Wicker (great and terrible: strong willed and won't be told no, also super selfish)
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SyFy wrote:
Julia, Quentin's longtime best friend, has always been a perfectionist and an overachiever. She's embraced pragmatism; a nice apartment, a respectable boyfriend, an acceptance to Yale. Everything Julia has wanted, Julia's gotten. Except for magic. And she will do anything to get it.
Quentin's lifelong childhood friend who has outgrown the childhood stories of Fillory and is having a pretty successful life at University. She is trying to get Quentin to forget his childish ways like she did. What will she do when she finds out magic is real?

Alice Quinn (terrible: socially awkward know-it-all)
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SyFy wrote:
Alice is a phenomenally talented magician, but you'd never hear that from her. In fact, you never hear much of anything from her. Alice is painfully shy, but that all evaporates when she's practicing magic. Her potential is limitless, unsurprising given her family legacy. But Alice's past is filled with some darkness, moments she's determined to not let interfere with her future.
Basically Hermoine Granger but also from a long line of powerful magicians. She quickly becomes Quentin's love interest, but has her own issues to deal with. Like her brother died at Brakebills and her family is all a bunch of powerful magicians, oh no what a legacy to live up to.

Eliot Waugh (great: literally the co-best character on the show. full of quips and awesome stuff)
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SyFy wrote:
Eliot is one of the more established students at Brakebills. He's got an opinion on everything and - if you ask him - it's usually right. Don't let his excellent sense of aesthetics and "vigorous hedonism" lead you into thinking life has been easy street. As Eliot is one to remind you, magic comes from pain. And he's a very good magician. He also makes a fantastic cocktail.
One of the older students that introduces Quentin to the school. He is hilarious and basically runs the party side of the school. Lots of backstory to this guy that I don't want to ruin. Also, the show has taken this character to a ton of places and has had the best story arcs so far.

Margo Hanson (great: co-best character with Eliot. nuff said)
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SyFy wrote:
She's not a bitch; she's just honest. At least, that's what Margo will tell you. She's as equally gifted in partying as she is magic. In fact, Margo's a study in contrasts: intellectual yet academically unfocused, reserved yet social. The only thing that's dependable is her unpreditability. Well, that and consistently excellent wardrobe.
Margo and Eliot are best buds. She is somehow even more snarky than him and even more fabulous. Her arc has recently taken a great turn in season 2 and I can't wait to see where they go with her.

William 'Penny' Adiyodi (great and terrible: super grounded and realizes magic doesn't solve everything, but also a real buzzkill for the first season)
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SyFy wrote:
Penny is the proud outcast of the group, but when [redacted] he begins to spiral out of control. He is desperate for a solution and will stop at nothing to fix himself. In the midst of his healing journey, Penny surprises himself with acts of selflessness that demonstrate a shift from loner to friend.
Hey SyFy, how about you don't spoil the entire first season for everyone that goes to your site? Penny has some serious psychic powers which is awesome because he can read minds and go into dreams and even travel between dimensions! But he can also hear everyone's thoughts to the point where he can barely focus on what's really happening. Self medication solves that...

There are a ton of other characters on the show that are great like various teachers at the school, other students, and people from other realms. The plot moves along at a surprisingly quick pace. Shit goes down on the regular.

ONE BIG CAVEAT: Wow does the acting suck for the first bit of the first season. It takes a while for Eliot and Alice to grow on you and for their actors to get a handle on how to be annoying without being actually annoying. Hang on and enjoy the show in spite of them and if you like what the show is trying to do, I promise you will be addicted come season end.

Please spoiler all book plot talk and anything from the current season!

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    I'm actually pleased at the elements that they embellish for the TV show compared to the books. The Beast is fucking FRIGHTENING from the get-go, whereas in the books, he's somewhat of a nameless big-bad without much presence. Eliot and Quentin are frenemies in the books, but they notch it up to the next level (with nuance, as well) in the show.

    I also like how they took Julia's story (which is in book 2) and weave it directly within the chronological elements of Quentin's first story-half (he becomes a LOT more tolerable in the later books, but he's terrible and whiny in the first book). I think that's a brilliant way to do the show.

    The author of the books actually has a cameo in the show. :D He's the guy in the fake documentary footage about the Fillory and Further books.

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  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    I'm actually pleased at the elements that they embellish for the TV show compared to the books. The Beast is fucking FRIGHTENING from the get-go, whereas in the books, he's somewhat of a nameless big-bad without much presence. Eliot and Quentin are frenemies in the books, but they notch it up to the next level (with nuance, as well) in the show.

    I also like how they took Julia's story (which is in book 2) and weave it directly within the chronological elements of Quentin's first story-half (he becomes a LOT more tolerable in the later books, but he's terrible and whiny in the first book). I think that's a brilliant way to do the show.

    The author of the books actually has a cameo in the show. :D He's the guy in the fake documentary footage about the Fillory and Further books.

    It seems to be the consensus from what I read around the internet that the show is actually better than the books in quite a few ways.

    Jebus314Handgimp
  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    edited March 2017
    I love everything that has happened in Fillory this season. From the FU Fighters (lol) to the Cock Barrens (LOL) to Margo
    declaring war this past episode, what?!

    Julia's arc has gotten even darker this season, which I didn't think was possible. I hope she doesn't have to do what we learned this episode.

    And the reveal about Alice this episode was a pretty big deal as well...

    ObiFett on
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited March 2017
    ObiFett wrote: »
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    I'm actually pleased at the elements that they embellish for the TV show compared to the books. The Beast is fucking FRIGHTENING from the get-go, whereas in the books, he's somewhat of a nameless big-bad without much presence. Eliot and Quentin are frenemies in the books, but they notch it up to the next level (with nuance, as well) in the show.

    I also like how they took Julia's story (which is in book 2) and weave it directly within the chronological elements of Quentin's first story-half (he becomes a LOT more tolerable in the later books, but he's terrible and whiny in the first book). I think that's a brilliant way to do the show.

    The author of the books actually has a cameo in the show. :D He's the guy in the fake documentary footage about the Fillory and Further books.

    It seems to be the consensus from what I read around the internet that the show is actually better than the books in quite a few ways.
    The books improve in quality as you go along. The first book establishes the premise of the universe (and little else), but the better setpieces are later on in the second and third books.* I'm not surprised that a TV show (with the benefit of knowing how it's going to all turn out) can establish its legs better in the beginning, given the rough start in the first book.

    Both the books and the TV show do a great job establishing pop culture references to ground the fantastic stuff, which I find greatly amusing. It's like when they do the same in Marvel movies/shows (Cottonmouth with a Biggie Crown poster, for example, in Luke Cage).

    * EDIT: The third book has a frickin' wizard heist in the beginning! I'm looking forward to that. :D

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  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    ObiFett wrote: »
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    I'm actually pleased at the elements that they embellish for the TV show compared to the books. The Beast is fucking FRIGHTENING from the get-go, whereas in the books, he's somewhat of a nameless big-bad without much presence. Eliot and Quentin are frenemies in the books, but they notch it up to the next level (with nuance, as well) in the show.

    I also like how they took Julia's story (which is in book 2) and weave it directly within the chronological elements of Quentin's first story-half (he becomes a LOT more tolerable in the later books, but he's terrible and whiny in the first book). I think that's a brilliant way to do the show.

    The author of the books actually has a cameo in the show. :D He's the guy in the fake documentary footage about the Fillory and Further books.

    It seems to be the consensus from what I read around the internet that the show is actually better than the books in quite a few ways.

    I would argue to the teeth that this is wrong. I by far prefer the books.

    But regardless of how you view the quality, the tone and 'point' of the books is very very very different from the show.

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  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    edited March 2017
    ObiFett wrote: »
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    I'm actually pleased at the elements that they embellish for the TV show compared to the books. The Beast is fucking FRIGHTENING from the get-go, whereas in the books, he's somewhat of a nameless big-bad without much presence. Eliot and Quentin are frenemies in the books, but they notch it up to the next level (with nuance, as well) in the show.

    I also like how they took Julia's story (which is in book 2) and weave it directly within the chronological elements of Quentin's first story-half (he becomes a LOT more tolerable in the later books, but he's terrible and whiny in the first book). I think that's a brilliant way to do the show.

    The author of the books actually has a cameo in the show. :D He's the guy in the fake documentary footage about the Fillory and Further books.

    It seems to be the consensus from what I read around the internet that the show is actually better than the books in quite a few ways.

    I would argue to the teeth that this is wrong. I by far prefer the books.

    But regardless of how you view the quality, the tone and 'point' of the books is very very very different from the show.

    Have you watched all the episodes or did you quit after just a couple? edit: because, imo, the show gets much much better later into season 1 and season 2 has been solid throughout

    How is the tone and "point" of the books different? Genuinely curious here.

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  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    edited March 2017
    Alright, I honestly don't know if I will explain this well

    Theres a lot of similarities in the shell and some of the stated themes, but I would say that a lot of the focus is very different. The books are waaay more focused on the depression, alienation, and that these kids are growing up (this is another change, Brakebills in the books is post high school rather than post collegiate). Its stated in the show that magic doesnt solve anything, but in large part they mean it doesn't solve physical problems arrising each episode such as horrifying monsters or events. In the books, its much more of a mental thing - magic doesn't fix these people as people. Quentin is not just a whiny and annoying. He is depressed in the full sense of the word. It often makes him not that fun of a character to read. And magic doesn't make him happy whatsoever. Its a deconstruction of the Harry Potter trope, where the show feels more like Harry Potter.... for adults.

    The Beast isn't even important. Hes a backdrop to kids tearing themselves apart mentally

    The show is sort of like... making a show about The Great Gatsby and making it all about the cool parties and cool people doing cool things. And occasionally it goes 'Hrmm, but is this truly THE AMERICAN DREAM. And then they have sex. Because its for ADULTS.

    To be fair, I'm enjoying the show, but one is a kind of silly/fun CW tv show and one is about depression and not feeling right in ones own skin.

    Wassermelone on
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  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    edited March 2017
    Alright, I honestly don't know if I will explain this well

    Theres a lot of similarities in the shell and some of the stated themes, but I would say that a lot of the focus is very different. The books are waaay more focused on the depression, alienation, and that these kids are growing up (this is another change, Brakebills in the books is post high school rather than post collegiate). Its stated in the show that magic doesnt solve anything, but in large part they mean it doesn't solve physical problems arrising each episode such as horrifying monsters or events. In the books, its much more of a mental thing - magic doesn't fix these people as people. Quentin is not just a whiny and annoying. He is depressed in the full sense of the word. It often makes him not that fun of a character to read. And magic doesn't make him happy whatsoever. Its a deconstruction of the Harry Potter trope, where the show feels more like Harry Potter.... for adults.

    The Beast isn't even important. Hes a backdrop to kids tearing themselves apart mentally

    The show is sort of like... making a show about The Great Gatsby and making it all about the cool parties and cool people doing cool things. And occasionally it goes 'Hrmm, but is this truly THE AMERICAN DREAM. And then they have sex. Because its for ADULTS.

    To be fair, I'm enjoying the show, but one is a kind of silly/fun CW tv show and one is about depression and not feeling right in ones own skin.

    I'm thinking its the contrast between book and show that is making you think the show doesn't get across the bolded. I've totally got that from the show so far. I mean Quentin and Alice and Julia all looked to magic to solve their "people" issues and it has only made it worse across the board. I think Quentin is the only one that is starting to realize that he needs to fix himself through himself and not expect some outside source to do it.

    I mean Quentin goes into pretty hardcore depression at times and so does Julia. In fact, the entirety of Julia's plot has been her trying to be happy and her interaction with the Beast
    was him trying to tempt her by taking away her sadness that she is obviously consumed by.
    Penny and Eliot both also grappled with serious mental issues as a result of their lives as well.

    I can see how those themes would come across stronger in a book, though, since books are always better at getting across what's going on in a character's head. I wouldn't say the show is failing to demonstrate those themes and address them, but its probably much less impactful than a book.

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  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    Thats the part that makes this hard to explain. Its not that the show has none of these elements.

    Its like a recipe. If a recipe has 80% of ingredient A and 20% of ingredient B while the another recipe has 80% B and 20% A, they are probably going to taste pretty different.

    ObiFett
  • FrozenzenFrozenzen Registered User regular
    I watched 30 seconds of the first episode, and the moment they talked about some people being chosen I just turned it off. I probably should give it more of a chance than that, due to loving the books in general.

  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck lonely, but not unloved dreaming of faulty keys and latchesRegistered User regular
    as if i needed more people calling me daddy

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  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    My favorite line this season was "Since when did you become Fillory Clinton?"

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  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    Margo and Eliot are so much better than everyone else it's staggering.

    Anyway, I've enjoyed this site since day one, but there's one thing about season one's finale that bugs the shit out of me.
    it basically ends up that the villain and the person who ends up saving said villain thus harming everyone else both are driven by their trauma from sexual abuse.

    Like, making the victim evil in both cases bugs me

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  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    I think I'll take another look at this. I thought it got bogged down into generic young people drama as season one went on and there wasn't nearly enough narrative drive. They have a lot to work with so I can see this being good going forward but I want more interesting writing.

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  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    edited March 2017
    This show has a thread. Excellent. *steeples fingers*

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  • cursedkingcursedking Registered User regular
    edited March 2017
    I liked the first season well enough, but I thought Julia's entire thing in the last two episodes of the season was completely disgusting and done really badly.
    The idea that a rape gave her super magic and that was the only way to beat the villain, who is also a victim of rape and now she wants to work with this mass murderer was...pretty fucking bad.

    Julia is easily the worst part of the show, and this show has both Quentin and Alice

    cursedking on
  • Inkstain82Inkstain82 Registered User regular
    This show kinda lost me a few episodes into the second season. I just stopped caring enough about the plot to make it worth putting up with that level of dark and depressing.

    I read the first book after seeing the first season and it was fine. I thought it would have been amazing if it just ended when Quentin passes out during the big fight.

  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    edited March 2017
    cursedking wrote: »
    I liked the first season well enough, but I thought Julia's entire thing in the last two episodes of the season was completely disgusting and done really badly.
    The idea that a rape gave her super magic and that was the only way to beat the villain, who is also a victim of rape and now she wants to work with this mass murderer was...pretty fucking bad.

    Julia is easily the worst part of the show, and this show has both Quentin and Alice

    I think you're combining Alice and Julia's storylines a bit there.
    Julia wanted to kill the god that raped her so essentially kidnapped the only person she knew could do it: the beast. Meanwhile, Alice had to guzzle some God sperm in order to be powerful enough to cast the spell to kill the beast.

    No where did they say that Julia's rape made her stronger.

    ObiFett on
  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    Jragghen wrote: »
    Margo and Eliot are so much better than everyone else it's staggering.

    Anyway, I've enjoyed this site since day one, but there's one thing about season one's finale that bugs the shit out of me.
    it basically ends up that the villain and the person who ends up saving said villain thus harming everyone else both are driven by their trauma from sexual abuse.

    Like, making the victim evil in both cases bugs me

    I feel like it makes them both more human. Trauma like that is rough on people and often those people act out or deal with it in a way that those without trauma don't understand. I never saw Julia
    as a villain for what she did. Rather I saw a tragic but understandable choice made by someone in extreme grief.

    As far as the Beast, they explain his choices much better in the second season and he's less of a
    mustache twirling villain due to sexual abuse and more of a tragic figure that became who he is because of how he dealt with his trauma

    I think it's a lot more nuanced than "let's turn sexual abuse victims into villains"

  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2017
    I've found Julia's entire storyline throughout the series to be the most interesting out of the entire lot. I enjoy her and her character progression much more than anyone else.
    Her character comes off as perpetually trying to fix things or make do in an environment in which her choices are between shit and even worse, because the world around her continually denies her the support network and options available to everyone else in the series. She's trying to carve out her own world because she's shut out of the world she should be in from the very beginning. Shit then goes downhill, which she tries to fix or deal with, but always on her own or has to deal with with imperfect solutions. Which ultimately makes her the prime character for Reynard to influence and take advantage, since she's the prototypical naive mage delving into things she doesn't understand (because she's barred out of obtaining the necessary background training/education to recognize such situations).

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  • cursedkingcursedking Registered User regular
    edited March 2017
    ObiFett wrote: »
    cursedking wrote: »
    I liked the first season well enough, but I thought Julia's entire thing in the last two episodes of the season was completely disgusting and done really badly.
    The idea that a rape gave her super magic and that was the only way to beat the villain, who is also a victim of rape and now she wants to work with this mass murderer was...pretty fucking bad.

    Julia is easily the worst part of the show, and this show has both Quentin and Alice

    I think you're combining Alice and Julia's storylines a bit there.
    Julia wanted to kill the god that raped her so essentially kidnapped the only person she knew could do it: the beast. Meanwhile, Alice had to guzzle some God sperm in order to be powerful enough to cast the spell to kill the beast.

    No where did they say that Julia's rape made her stronger.

    it totally did dude
    the flashback to the rape showed her noticing the cum on her legs. Then her eyes glowed. She was able to hold the dagger because she was fucked by a god, she ingested sperm in the same way that alice did. no one could hold the sword except alice and julia because both had the powers of a god coursing through them.

    cursedking on
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  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    cursedking wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    cursedking wrote: »
    I liked the first season well enough, but I thought Julia's entire thing in the last two episodes of the season was completely disgusting and done really badly.
    The idea that a rape gave her super magic and that was the only way to beat the villain, who is also a victim of rape and now she wants to work with this mass murderer was...pretty fucking bad.

    Julia is easily the worst part of the show, and this show has both Quentin and Alice

    I think you're combining Alice and Julia's storylines a bit there.
    Julia wanted to kill the god that raped her so essentially kidnapped the only person she knew could do it: the beast. Meanwhile, Alice had to guzzle some God sperm in order to be powerful enough to cast the spell to kill the beast.

    No where did they say that Julia's rape made her stronger.

    it totally did dude
    the flashback to the rape showed her noticing the cum on her legs. Then her eyes glowed. She was able to hold the dagger because she was fucked by a god, she ingested sperm in the same way that alice did. no one could hold the sword except alice and julia because both had the powers of a god coursing through them.

    oh right, yeah
    I still don't think the show is trying to say that her being raped was a good thing or that her being raped was the only way to beat the villain. It wasn't even the first way that the story said they'd be able to kill the Beast. The first way was Alice. That failed, so Julia saw a chance and stepped in. It was more of a "these are the rules of the world" (aka God sperm gives you super magic) and Julia just happened to have the temporary power, through unfortunate means, in order for her to rid the world of a rapist god.

    Again, I don't think it tries to paint Julia as a villain. She's making choices that make sense in her very tragic situation. And the Beast isn't just "the villain who is also a victim of rape". In the second season we learn
    that he is the way he is because he chose to remove all ability to feel by removing his "shade." In doing this, he lost all connection to humanity and that is what makes him a villain. Not his trauma, but instead his choice to not deal with and instead remove all emotion from himself.

    I think its brave to show the effects that sexual assault has on people, even if it shows victims as making choices that we maybe don't understand. I would rather watch a show that takes that chance than one that paints all victims as perfect people who make the best choices after their trauma.

    Harry Dresden
  • cursedkingcursedking Registered User regular
    edited March 2017
    ObiFett wrote: »
    cursedking wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    cursedking wrote: »
    I liked the first season well enough, but I thought Julia's entire thing in the last two episodes of the season was completely disgusting and done really badly.
    The idea that a rape gave her super magic and that was the only way to beat the villain, who is also a victim of rape and now she wants to work with this mass murderer was...pretty fucking bad.

    Julia is easily the worst part of the show, and this show has both Quentin and Alice

    I think you're combining Alice and Julia's storylines a bit there.
    Julia wanted to kill the god that raped her so essentially kidnapped the only person she knew could do it: the beast. Meanwhile, Alice had to guzzle some God sperm in order to be powerful enough to cast the spell to kill the beast.

    No where did they say that Julia's rape made her stronger.

    it totally did dude
    the flashback to the rape showed her noticing the cum on her legs. Then her eyes glowed. She was able to hold the dagger because she was fucked by a god, she ingested sperm in the same way that alice did. no one could hold the sword except alice and julia because both had the powers of a god coursing through them.

    oh right, yeah
    I still don't think the show is trying to say that her being raped was a good thing or that her being raped was the only way to beat the villain. It wasn't even the first way that the story said they'd be able to kill the Beast. The first way was Alice. That failed, so Julia saw a chance and stepped in. It was more of a "these are the rules of the world" (aka God sperm gives you super magic) and Julia just happened to have the temporary power, through unfortunate means, in order for her to rid the world of a rapist god.

    Again, I don't think it tries to paint Julia as a villain. She's making choices that make sense in her very tragic situation. And the Beast isn't just "the villain who is also a victim of rape". In the second season we learn
    that he is the way he is because he chose to remove all ability to feel by removing his "shade." In doing this, he lost all connection to humanity and that is what makes him a villain. Not his trauma, but instead his choice to not deal with and instead remove all emotion from himself.

    I think its brave to show the effects that sexual assault has on people, even if it shows victims as making choices that we maybe don't understand. I would rather watch a show that takes that chance than one that paints all victims as perfect people who make the best choices after their trauma.
    Alice's way didn't fail, Julia stole the sword from her. That is why she had it in the first place.

    I'm not saying the show is saying a rape is good. I'm saying that having a plot point be that a rape gives you super powers is problematic.

    cursedking on
  • chrono_travellerchrono_traveller Registered User regular
    I've referred to this show as one of my guilty pleasures, but lately I've been losing some interest. Its probably partly due to watching the first season on Netflix, and could binge watch 2-3 shows at once, and I really felt like the last 3-4 episodes of season one were really good/fun because the narrative was tight, things were going places, and particularly that the main characters were all playing off each other. Now that everyone has kinda gone their separate ways, and the main characters just sort of cross paths, it just feels like things are running in place, with only Julia and Kady really working towards something concrete.

    But this last episode, at least Quentin got things moving in his plot, instead of (only) moping around, and that last Margo and Eliot speech was pretty amazing, though I still think Eliot is very uneven this season, kinda flip-flopping constantly between just about to turn the corner into responsibility and making stupid decisions.

    The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. ~ Terry Pratchett

    George R. R. Martin is not your bitch. ~ Neil Gaiman
  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    cursedking wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    cursedking wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    cursedking wrote: »
    I liked the first season well enough, but I thought Julia's entire thing in the last two episodes of the season was completely disgusting and done really badly.
    The idea that a rape gave her super magic and that was the only way to beat the villain, who is also a victim of rape and now she wants to work with this mass murderer was...pretty fucking bad.

    Julia is easily the worst part of the show, and this show has both Quentin and Alice

    I think you're combining Alice and Julia's storylines a bit there.
    Julia wanted to kill the god that raped her so essentially kidnapped the only person she knew could do it: the beast. Meanwhile, Alice had to guzzle some God sperm in order to be powerful enough to cast the spell to kill the beast.

    No where did they say that Julia's rape made her stronger.

    it totally did dude
    the flashback to the rape showed her noticing the cum on her legs. Then her eyes glowed. She was able to hold the dagger because she was fucked by a god, she ingested sperm in the same way that alice did. no one could hold the sword except alice and julia because both had the powers of a god coursing through them.

    oh right, yeah
    I still don't think the show is trying to say that her being raped was a good thing or that her being raped was the only way to beat the villain. It wasn't even the first way that the story said they'd be able to kill the Beast. The first way was Alice. That failed, so Julia saw a chance and stepped in. It was more of a "these are the rules of the world" (aka God sperm gives you super magic) and Julia just happened to have the temporary power, through unfortunate means, in order for her to rid the world of a rapist god.

    Again, I don't think it tries to paint Julia as a villain. She's making choices that make sense in her very tragic situation. And the Beast isn't just "the villain who is also a victim of rape". In the second season we learn
    that he is the way he is because he chose to remove all ability to feel by removing his "shade." In doing this, he lost all connection to humanity and that is what makes him a villain. Not his trauma, but instead his choice to not deal with and instead remove all emotion from himself.

    I think its brave to show the effects that sexual assault has on people, even if it shows victims as making choices that we maybe don't understand. I would rather watch a show that takes that chance than one that paints all victims as perfect people who make the best choices after their trauma.
    Alice's way didn't fail, Julia stole the sword from her. That is why she had it in the first place.

    I'm not saying the show is saying a rape is good. I'm saying that having a plot point be that a rape gives you super powers is problematic.

    Thats understandable and I think I would have a bigger issue if rape was actually what was giving her super powers.

    Instead its more that God juice gives you super powers. And since there are multiple ways to get that juice...

  • AstaerethAstaereth In the belly of the beastRegistered User regular
    I have been watching this show since the beginning, mostly because I find the fury invigorating.

    Grossman's trilogy are three of my absolute favorite books--I read the first one back when that was all there is, so I've followed the series through to the end and now onto this sci-fi show that works every once in a while but mostly makes me wish it was a better adaptation. It's not the worst show as a piece of television but it utterly fails to play at the books' level. The Magicians should be Mad Men with special FX, a story about ennui and social maladaptation and the frustrating of waiting for some grand quest or sinister villain to emerge from the shadows and bring meaning to your life, only it never comes, or if it does then it's horrible and scary and sad.

    The Magicians on Syfy wants to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer with more curse words and fewer rules. It's pretty disappointing.

    That said, I can't look away (or stop podcasting about it) so hopefully the show gets its act together. Even this version could be so much better--could let its stories breathe instead of rushing them, could actually address the patriarchy instead of mentioning it and moving on, could stop fucking re-raping Julia in the "previously on" segments and baby plotline, etc fucking etc.

    Anyway, if you like the show go read the books for sure. I mean welters alone.

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    jakobaggerWassermelone
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    edited March 2017
    Astaereth wrote:
    The Magicians should be Mad Men with special FX, a story about ennui and social maladaptation and the frustrating of waiting for some grand quest or sinister villain to emerge from the shadows and bring meaning to your life, only it never comes, or if it does then it's horrible and scary and sad.

    In that case the series should have been sold to a premium channel, rather than Syfy.

    Harry Dresden on
    AstaerethBrody
  • AstaerethAstaereth In the belly of the beastRegistered User regular
    Astaereth wrote:
    The Magicians should be Mad Men with special FX, a story about ennui and social maladaptation and the frustrating of waiting for some grand quest or sinister villain to emerge from the shadows and bring meaning to your life, only it never comes, or if it does then it's horrible and scary and sad.

    In that case the series should have been sold to a premium channel, rather than Syfy.

    It was originally going to be on the CW, so even this is a step up, but yeah. As an AMC or Showtime program it might have had a chance... but honestly, beyond the show's more limited ambitions I just think these showrunners are too far behind Grossman (a scary smart guy--as his his twin brother who also writes really cool lit-pop) in terms of writing talent, unlike, say, Harris/Fuller or Coens/Hawley, where the gap is much smaller.

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  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    edited March 2017
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Astaereth wrote:
    The Magicians should be Mad Men with special FX, a story about ennui and social maladaptation and the frustrating of waiting for some grand quest or sinister villain to emerge from the shadows and bring meaning to your life, only it never comes, or if it does then it's horrible and scary and sad.

    In that case the series should have been sold to a premium channel, rather than Syfy.

    It was originally going to be on the CW, so even this is a step up, but yeah. As an AMC or Showtime program it might have had a chance... but honestly, beyond the show's more limited ambitions I just think these showrunners are too far behind Grossman (a scary smart guy--as his his twin brother who also writes really cool lit-pop) in terms of writing talent, unlike, say, Harris/Fuller or Coens/Hawley, where the gap is much smaller.

    It would have been so much worse on CW. I do wonder how much better it would have been on AMC. It feels like it would be perfect for Showtime.

    I haven't read the books, but from the limited conversation on here, it sounds like some of the stuff wouldn't translate all that great to TV. I don't think they are knocking it out of the park with Magicians, but I do think its entertaining and not like pretty much anything else on TV right now.

    ObiFett on
  • AstaerethAstaereth In the belly of the beastRegistered User regular
    edited March 2017
    A couple of big examples of the way the show limits the book's ambitious structure in the name of conforming to a television structure are the way it deals with antagonists and recurring characters.

    The novels are hugely about how the structure of a fantasy novel is incompatible with a healthy adult life. Book 1 is Harry Potter in a world with no Voldemort--Quentin yearns for his own Chosen One narrative, first the Potter-esque dream of going to magic school, then the notion of being like the children who are allowed to visit (and rule) what is essentially Narnia. The point of the book is mostly how this is a very damaging thing for him to want, because even when magic exists, life doesn't fit neatly into the shape of a story like that. Book 2 looks at the idea of the Quest and how that's equally bad for you. Book 3 is a bit different for reasons I won't go into because spoilers.

    But the show fundamentally rejects this idea in terms of story structure. Instead on both an episode and season level, it structures itself around antagonists and Big Bads, going for easy conflicts. There's nothing wrong with approach generally and I like Joss Whedon as much as the next person; but it's a diminishing of the source material. Essentially (and not in a way that's intentional or examined) the show gives Quentin the fantasy the book withholds--but is too faithful to move away from his sadsack persona. The result is extensive reaching to make sure Quentin has a reason to be unhappy with getting basically everything he ever wanted--and sometimes there is no reason and he just comes off as a whiny git.

    Another element also has to do with Quentin, which is that part of his personality and arc is that he begins the novels not really understanding other people. He's constantly discovering that certain people or certain dynamics between people just weren't what he thought they were, or were far more complicated than he imagined. One way this manifests structurally in the novels is that they gradually incorporate more perspectives than just Quentin's--first Julia in book 2 (which the show incorporates well into book 1's material), then several others in book 3. But another way is that characters will disappear from the story and reappear later having changed in ways that Quentin doesn't necessarily understand. Through the consistent structure of characters leaving, returning different, and then telling the part of the story we and Quentin missed, the novels hammer home the idea that other people exist independent from you, with their own problems and dreams and needs and dysfunction. It's a lesson that Quentin very much needs to learn.

    But the show will not allow itself to operate this way, despite the fact that this mode of storytelling has become much more common in prestige television--Game of Thrones, for example, where characters may skip seasons between appearances. Instead The Magicians behaves by outdated television rules where characters must be on screen nearly every episode, even if they're not doing anything important, and even important character deaths must be reversed as soon as possible. Not only does this negate what the book has to say about the interactions between its characters, but it also hinders the show's ability to properly show character growth, because it locks the show into a structure that allows only for long, gradual, scrutinized changes that must be motivated by the plot happening on screen (a task they're often simply not capable of doing properly).

    This is just a couple of examples, but if I have a thesis here, it's that this new golden of age of television actually did open TV narratives to many of the brilliant literary strategies that make the books so excellent and rewarding, but Syfy's adaptation acts like it's still the early '90s, when TV just didn't have the freedom to be any better than this.

    Astaereth on
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    WassermeloneObiFettHandgimp
  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    Yeah, I now I am sad we don't have that show.

    I still like what we have, but I understand how it could have been so much better.

  • SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    I wonder if the Magicians might have worked better as a Netflix series where you get everything in one big dump, like Lemony Snicket.

    I can understand that the books are a lot deeper and nuanced, but typically people will be done reading a novel within a week, rather than watching it drag along for many months along with a mid season break.

    "Next week on the Magicians, nothing exciting happens" is a lot harder to get people hooked.

    Doodmann
  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    I'm actually pleased at the elements that they embellish for the TV show compared to the books. The Beast is fucking FRIGHTENING from the get-go, whereas in the books, he's somewhat of a nameless big-bad without much presence. Eliot and Quentin are frenemies in the books, but they notch it up to the next level (with nuance, as well) in the show.

    I also like how they took Julia's story (which is in book 2) and weave it directly within the chronological elements of Quentin's first story-half (he becomes a LOT more tolerable in the later books, but he's terrible and whiny in the first book). I think that's a brilliant way to do the show.

    The author of the books actually has a cameo in the show. :D He's the guy in the fake documentary footage about the Fillory and Further books.

    It seems to be the consensus from what I read around the internet that the show is actually better than the books in quite a few ways.
    The books improve in quality as you go along. The first book establishes the premise of the universe (and little else), but the better setpieces are later on in the second and third books.* I'm not surprised that a TV show (with the benefit of knowing how it's going to all turn out) can establish its legs better in the beginning, given the rough start in the first book.

    Both the books and the TV show do a great job establishing pop culture references to ground the fantastic stuff, which I find greatly amusing. It's like when they do the same in Marvel movies/shows (Cottonmouth with a Biggie Crown poster, for example, in Luke Cage).

    * EDIT: The third book has a frickin' wizard heist in the beginning! I'm looking forward to that. :D

    Are we already in the third book? Because the most recent episode had what could be considered a wizard heist...

  • jakobaggerjakobagger LO THY DREAD EMPIRE CHAOS IS RESTORED Registered User regular
    HBO's the Magicians could probably have been absolutely fantastic.

    Not that I'm not enjoying the entertaining bubblegum version we got, though.

    But also, maybe I should read the books again soon.



  • AstaerethAstaereth In the belly of the beastRegistered User regular
    ObiFett wrote: »
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    I'm actually pleased at the elements that they embellish for the TV show compared to the books. The Beast is fucking FRIGHTENING from the get-go, whereas in the books, he's somewhat of a nameless big-bad without much presence. Eliot and Quentin are frenemies in the books, but they notch it up to the next level (with nuance, as well) in the show.

    I also like how they took Julia's story (which is in book 2) and weave it directly within the chronological elements of Quentin's first story-half (he becomes a LOT more tolerable in the later books, but he's terrible and whiny in the first book). I think that's a brilliant way to do the show.

    The author of the books actually has a cameo in the show. :D He's the guy in the fake documentary footage about the Fillory and Further books.

    It seems to be the consensus from what I read around the internet that the show is actually better than the books in quite a few ways.
    The books improve in quality as you go along. The first book establishes the premise of the universe (and little else), but the better setpieces are later on in the second and third books.* I'm not surprised that a TV show (with the benefit of knowing how it's going to all turn out) can establish its legs better in the beginning, given the rough start in the first book.

    Both the books and the TV show do a great job establishing pop culture references to ground the fantastic stuff, which I find greatly amusing. It's like when they do the same in Marvel movies/shows (Cottonmouth with a Biggie Crown poster, for example, in Luke Cage).

    * EDIT: The third book has a frickin' wizard heist in the beginning! I'm looking forward to that. :D

    Are we already in the third book? Because the most recent episode had what could be considered a wizard heist...

    We are baaaasically in the third book, although Fillory is sort of early book 2 right now. The way they're shifting things leaves plenty to pick up from book 3 later though. And they haven't really tackled the present half of book 2 yet at all (2 contains flashbacks to a version of the Julia story in season 1).

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  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    I mean at this pace they have, what, a season of material left?

    I wonder if they will try and do their own thing afterwards or if they will just end the show.

  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    ObiFett wrote: »
    I mean at this pace they have, what, a season of material left?

    I wonder if they will try and do their own thing afterwards or if they will just end the show.

    ehhhh.... the show is already doing it's own thing.

    This machine kills threads.
    HandgimpBrody
  • AstaerethAstaereth In the belly of the beastRegistered User regular
    ObiFett wrote: »
    I mean at this pace they have, what, a season of material left?

    I wonder if they will try and do their own thing afterwards or if they will just end the show.

    After this season they'll have either one or two Fillory arcs left to mine (depending on how they resolve the wellspring stuff), but otherwise they'll be essentially out of book plot for the main characters.

    ACsTqqK.jpg
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    ObiFett wrote: »
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    ObiFett wrote: »
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    I'm actually pleased at the elements that they embellish for the TV show compared to the books. The Beast is fucking FRIGHTENING from the get-go, whereas in the books, he's somewhat of a nameless big-bad without much presence. Eliot and Quentin are frenemies in the books, but they notch it up to the next level (with nuance, as well) in the show.

    I also like how they took Julia's story (which is in book 2) and weave it directly within the chronological elements of Quentin's first story-half (he becomes a LOT more tolerable in the later books, but he's terrible and whiny in the first book). I think that's a brilliant way to do the show.

    The author of the books actually has a cameo in the show. :D He's the guy in the fake documentary footage about the Fillory and Further books.

    It seems to be the consensus from what I read around the internet that the show is actually better than the books in quite a few ways.
    The books improve in quality as you go along. The first book establishes the premise of the universe (and little else), but the better setpieces are later on in the second and third books.* I'm not surprised that a TV show (with the benefit of knowing how it's going to all turn out) can establish its legs better in the beginning, given the rough start in the first book.

    Both the books and the TV show do a great job establishing pop culture references to ground the fantastic stuff, which I find greatly amusing. It's like when they do the same in Marvel movies/shows (Cottonmouth with a Biggie Crown poster, for example, in Luke Cage).

    * EDIT: The third book has a frickin' wizard heist in the beginning! I'm looking forward to that. :D

    Are we already in the third book? Because the most recent episode had what could be considered a wizard heist...
    Not the heist I'm thinking of, but it's a nice curveball. :)

    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    edited March 2017
    Personally, I quit the books after 2 because I don't care to read about a depressed person being depressed (and thought they made a lot of stupid decisions possibly related to that or possibly not). Not entertaining. Which is the point of these things, not anything else. For me.

    So the more the the show tweaks stuff away from Quentin being a sadsack the better.

    I didn't notice this in the books and maybe it didn't come up with the changes, but Brakebills is fucking awful on the show. As is the magician world as a whole. There are dozens of points the Magic FBI should be on the scene. Starting with the fact magic is failing, yet no one gives a shit but our heroes. Gods on the loose. Niffins show up on school ground no one cares. Etc.

    Oh and: Who is that in the banner at the top floating? Julia? Kady? Has to be one of them...or random person for promotion...

    Xeddicus on
    "For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men. Not women. Not beasts...this you can trust."
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